Many people avoid registering their displeasure with a commercial transaction due to the social cost of confrontation.
Yet, many commercial transactions involve an annoyance of some sort. Perhaps it would be beneficial to both the customer and the company for this displeasure to be known?
Proposal: a two-sided credit card with both “satisfied” and “dissatisfied” sides
If a credit card transaction could also provide instant feedback to a company, this might provide an “early warning” to the company of customer dissatisfaction.
In this example (see Fig. 1), the two-sided credit card is essentially two separate accounts in one; depending on which side is swiped and/or entered in some other fashion, the card will also inform the company that the transaction was satisfactory or unsatisfactory.
Fig 1: This credit card has two sides and two magnetic stripes (or chips). One side is the “happy” side, and one side is the “sad” side. When making a transaction in person, one simply provides the credit card in the desired orientation.
Fig 2: For in-person transactions involving a tip (e.g. restaurants in the United States), the credit card could be configured to give a default tip amount as well. This would save the card owner from the annoyance of calculating tip amounts. In this case, the user could configure each side to a custom amount; perhaps the “happy” side would also translate to a 20% tip.
Fig 3: Since tipping at American table service restaurants is socially obligatory, having the “angry” side have a low tip would have to be reserved for incredibly awful locations that the patron plans to never re-visit.
You should write your credit card company today and demand that this feature be implemented.
PROS: Allows even the meekest individuals to register their transaction-related opinions. Saves the trouble of adding the tip to a bill.
CONS: Possibly redundant with Yelp and other review sites. Unscrupulous employees might run the card on the “happy” side no matter what, to boost their own customer satisfaction numbers.
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